This morning YouTube) just as the new Timeline does on the competitor’s platform.that beat stock analysts’ predictions for this first quarter of 2012: $10.65 billion for this past quarter. The number represents a 24% increase from last year’s Q1. Just before the search giant released these huge numbers, it announced a redesign of its social network, . Though little if any of this influx of cash came from the social network, Google seems to be heavily invested on making their platform a vibrant competitor to Facebook, and the redesign seems geared to emphasize photos and video (Google owns
Let’s take a little tour.
The new interface on the Google side, is cleaner and more sedate. Notice in the screenshot above how ‘cool’ the greys and whites are when buttons and feeds are inactive. I confess a real liking to this color scheme, as I have always preferred pastel blues and cool greys on my computer screen. The spectrum Google uses, from light grey to dark grey, allows your images and videos to stand out vibrantly, which draws vistors’ eyes to the colors of your material, rather than to Google’s. The relative transparency of the interface should be a real boost for those sharing visuals.
Senior Vice President Vic Gundotra said this about his company’s new look:
A critical piece of this social layer is a design that grows alongside our aspirations. So today we’re introducing a more functional and flexible version of Google+. We think you’ll find it easier to use and nicer to look at, but most importantly, it accelerates our efforts to create a simpler, more beautiful Google.
Another likely accelerating aspiration is the ribbon to the left with a half-dozen of Google’s ‘apps’ that work with Plus: Circles, Pages, Hangouts, Profile, Photos, and Home. But that ribbon can be customized and/or hidden, which suggests Google will be encouraging third-parties to develop applications whose launch buttons will go there:
Apps can also be rearranged in one’s personal order of importance, or completely hidden from plain sight. All of this makes it easier to use the Google+ apps that are available today, including Hangouts, games and photos — but there’s really not that much of a point in constantly reorganizing a half dozen apps. Instead, this seems to be built for something much bigger.
Surprisingly, though, the new interface has not yet been brought to mobile devices. Google’s Ket Eller shared this statement with The New York Times about the launch: “Today, the mobile experience will not change, but we are looking at ways to integrate these changes into mobile devices.”
, though how quickly we weren’t so sure. The platform garnered all kinds of excitement at its launch last summer, but has languished since the winter. The redesign suggests a move toward a Timeline-esque presentation of materials, but what will indeed be really interesting to see is if access to that launch ribbon is indeed given over to third parties who really start expanding what Google+ can do for your social network.